1. #1
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    Default New FD funding source??

    If you are fortunate and have a rural telephone or electric company serving your fire district (or even in the region) there is a potential funding source for equipment that you may not be aware of. New to me.

    USDA has a program call the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant program (REDLG). Pronounce redleg. The way it works (I'm not an expert).

    - USDA provides zero-interest loans to electric and telephone utilities.
    - The utilities reloans the funds to eligible economic development project
    - USDA may also grant $ to the utilities (who add an additional 20%) to create a revolving loan fund. These $ must, as 1st use, go into community project.
    - The project repays the loans (at 0%) to the utilities
    - The utility now has $ they can loan from their new "bank" to other projects that are of value to the community.

    A could of links that discuss:
    http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/redl.htm

    Or better link (start on pg 12)
    http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ks/2006%2...LG,%20RBEG.pdf


    For example in my area. We have a GREAT Telco, (low rates, fiber at the curb, after 8yr a VERY large dividend). Local group wants to build a childcare center. USDA REDLG loans Telco a pile of $ and GRANTS $125000. Childcare center complete and parents pay for daycare. Childcare center repays telco monthly. Telco has a sizable and growing pile of cash they MUST reloan for useful purposes. Int rate as low as 0%.

    Not as good as a grant as you have to pay it back but a LOT better than a USDA loan (4.5% with a BIG pile of paperwork). And MUCH less expensive than an Essential Community Services Loan down at the local bank (6.5% and a smallish pile of paperwork). App is a simple description of the project and repayment plan/simple financials.

    If you have a telco or power co within a couple of hours check you might check it out. Perhaps contact the local USDA Rural Development manager and ask who in the region has received REDLG grants. Or put in some google time.

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    neiowa, same program that subsidizes low rent housing projects by not taking money off the rent, which is used for the mortgage payments, but instead cuts the tenanats utility bill to almost zero so they can afford the rent.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    USDA has a host of programs. Redleg is only for econ dev.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa
    USDA has a host of programs. Redleg is only for econ dev.
    You are saying you don't think it is the sameprogram? I was quite sure they were one in the same, maybe not though. I know the apratment complex I am referring to was built with USDA money, as the applications to rent are all filled out on USDA forms. I was certain that because the rent was basically subsidized through the agreement with t e local rural power company that this was proabably the same thing.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Default ?????

    Just a quick question on this program. If my city is looking at some downtown re-development, we could work this through the local utilities company?? I guess I'm kinda lost on this. Set me straight about the program.

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    http://www.rurdev.usda.gov

    USDA has about as many different programs that a steer has flies. Including several different housing programs. Most of them have a "low/moderat income" requirement. All the USDA programs are restricted to "rural" areas but that can be a realitively large community (as far as I'm concerned sitting in my city pop 130). As I recall redlg is for communites pop of 25000 or less.

    The Commuity Development loan & grant programs are pretty well known (can be used for stations and apparatus).

    Best thing to do for additional info is contact the USDA Rural Dev rep in your region. http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/scrty/sdirs.html

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    Grants are limited to 75% of the cost, but the area applying has to have a median income below the US poverty level, and less than 20k residents. If the latest median income from the Census Bureau is above poverty level, then the loans are the only option, and still require proof that the department couldn't get conventional financing. Which for most rural areas isn't hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    Grants are limited to 75% of the cost, but the area applying has to have a median income below the US poverty level, and less than 20k residents. If the latest median income from the Census Bureau is above poverty level, then the loans are the only option, and still require proof that the department couldn't get conventional financing. Which for most rural areas isn't hard.
    BC, their requirements aren't as tough as they were in the past. My community is working on USDA money for a sewer project. We aren't below the poverty line, but they're saying we could possibly get some grant money. There's apparently some type of sliding scale based on income level that determines what % of a project is eligible for grant.

    Also, the 'conventional financing' requirement can be covered if the terms aren't favorable. In our case, USDA will fund our sewer project for up to a 38 year term. Since no bank will match that term (or for that matter, the interest rate), we're good to go.

    We haven't got the money yet, but based on my dealings with them this ain't our daddy's USDA. Rural departments really need to look at them as a viable option.

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    I think BC is talking about the Community Dev programs at USDA (not where started with the thread). Yes they have a sliding scale based on income. From talking to our local USDA RUS guy it sounds like true rural area (farming and no oil wells/yuppies) can get in on at least a 15% grant.

    An important point we found is not to accept the income data Census provides and is used by USDA (and everyother gov't grant program). If it does not make sense or is just above one of USDAs brackets do your own survey. Our 2000 income according to the census was approx. $30400 (USDA bracket is at $30k). No way that is correct. Census only does detailed survey on a very few households (something like 2%). So if they get the local plumber and an RN of the 3 households they survey in your zip guess what? USDA (and you COG) have an income survey you can use. Set up as a blind talley process and they want a 80% response. Make SURE the LOW income residents get it filled out (the ones on the gov't welfare take will understand the importance of getting more pork and should cooperate).

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa
    I think BC is talking about the Community Dev programs at USDA (not where started with the thread). Yes they have a sliding scale based on income. From talking to our local USDA RUS guy it sounds like true rural area (farming and no oil wells/yuppies) can get in on at least a 15% grant.

    An important point we found is not to accept the income data Census provides and is used by USDA (and everyother gov't grant program). If it does not make sense or is just above one of USDAs brackets do your own survey. Our 2000 income according to the census was approx. $30400 (USDA bracket is at $30k). No way that is correct. Census only does detailed survey on a very few households (something like 2%). So if they get the local plumber and an RN of the 3 households they survey in your zip guess what? USDA (and you COG) have an income survey you can use. Set up as a blind talley process and they want a 80% response. Make SURE the LOW income residents get it filled out (the ones on the gov't welfare take will understand the importance of getting more pork and should cooperate).
    EXcellent advice neiowa. I just closed out a grant/ loan deal here with a department with a 15% grant and 30 year term on a new FD/PD station house and US Census from 2000 had them out of the ballpark. Went and got a special census conducted by state and they accepted that. More rural departments do indeed need to investigate this as it is a very viable alternative. Yes, you have hoops to jump thorugh but, hey, if it is worth having it is wioth doing the work Much rather raise $300K through that method than 1000 8 hour boot drives.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Roger is correct, the Rural Emergency Initiative program is the one I'm speaking of, probably the one Dan is working with also. There is the sliding scale for grants, max being 75%, and the loan part is if you can't get conventional financing to terms you can handle. Certainly no bank is going to pull a 38 year finance, so that's the term that gets you into USDA.

    I didn't mean to make them out to be picky, I've got a pile of applications I'm working through for numerous departments and I've gotten nothing but help from all dozen+ offices I've had contact with. Right now most are out of dough until Fiscal 2007 kicks in, but it's always good to have the paperwork ready for when the allocations hit.

    And I'll back Kurt on the do your own census statement, they knocked one of my training center towns out based on that, but this center when fixed will help over 100 police, EMS, and fire departments in poor rural areas, so the specific town's median income doesn't tell the whole story. Which is way off anyway, like Roger said they only sample a small percentage to get that figure. Like every other grant program they take a load of work.

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